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Erie County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Task Force completes draft plan

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Tue, Feb 23rd 2021 03:20 pm

Public input sought for development of final plan; must be adopted as local law by April 1

The Erie County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Task Force, formed last summer pursuant to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order 203, announced the completion of a preliminary report and recommendations ready for public review and input.

The governor’s executive order mandated local governments to, among other items, “perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.”

Community input and public comments will be taken into consideration through March 1, to be used in development of the task force’s final plan, which must be adopted as a local law no later than April 1.

“This task force was created to study the issues, provide residents with a voice in reform efforts, construct findings from such efforts, and offer recommendations that will improve the Erie County Sheriff’s Office police services division. Our 13 task force members represent an extremely talented and diverse group of county residents who bring a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, expertise and viewpoints to their work,” said task force chair Martin S. Floss, Ph.D. “I want the public to know that we worked very hard, in a mandated short period of time, and believe that we have started conversations that need to be considered, with a commitment to making changes to the ECSO in ways that improve its ability to protect Erie County and serve all members with dignity and humility.”

The task force has been reviewing the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s police services division since September. Members are charged with creating a plan to adopt and implement the recommendations resulting from their policy and procedural review, as well as consultations with local law enforcement, community members and organizations, interested nonprofit and faith-based community groups, and local elected officials, among others.

The public can review the draft plan and offer feedback at https://www3.erie.gov/policereform.

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